The lowdown on low calorie diets
To lose weight, most people think that all you need to do is exercise more and eat less. Six weeks before a holiday, gyms are packed with people pounding treadmills, trying to burn every last ounce of energy, attempting to burn astronomical amounts of calories and then heading home to devour a delicious salad.
Low calorie diets are one of the worst things you can do when it comes to trying to lose body fat. When you drastically cut daily calorie intake, the body will quickly down-regulate your metabolism in order to preserve fuel stores, and you will burn fewer calories daily.
Then comes the need to fight hunger! Willpower is tested to the max, and in doing so - you elevate levels of the stress hormone cortisol. If you are training hard in an effort to get things moving again, high cortisol will become a chronic problem and you will throw your hormones completely out of balance.
Confused hormones equals disrupted sleep, loss of muscle mass and poor digestion. It ultimately results in your body hanging on to every last fat store possible.
Eat little, train little!
If you are not fuelling your body in line with your training requirements then it simply will not perform as you want. At the end of the day, if you want to drive a Ferrari but only fill it with enough petrol for a mini cooper, don’t expect to be driving for very long! Soon you’ll have to refuel or buy a smaller car.
If you under-eat your body will downsize its engine, also known as your muscle mass. As a result you will need fewer calories but now have the potential to burn less. Once you flip back to eating normally you will get fat. Guaranteed.
But that’s alright, you can just eat less and train a little more! Ahem.